- Diver safety non-profit organisation DAN Europe completes its first-ever European Sustainable Tour after six months
- DAN Europe ambassadors Alana Alvarez and Manuel Bustelo met with stakeholders across Europe to promote sustainable business
- Hyundai provided DAN Europe with KONA Electric for Sustainable Tour
Divers Alert Network Europe (DAN Europe), an international medical and research non-profit organisation dedicated to the health and safety of divers, has recently completed its first-ever Sustainable Tour. During the DAN Europe Sustainable Tour 2021, Alana Alvarez and Manuel Bustelo, DAN Europe ambassadors, travelled almost 25,000 kilometres to advocate for more sustainable business practices and policies to stakeholders in 17 countries.
A cause driving the Sustainable Tour forward
Diving for several years, Alvarez and Bustelo have both noticed how the marine ecosystem has drastically been changing. Not only is coral bleaching now a global issue, but large marine animals are falling in number as well.
To foster these marine ecosystems, it is necessary to create a change within the network and reconnect with nature. Hyundai goes beyond just expanding its electrified line-up and delivers on its goal of Progress for Humanity in a few ways. The company started a partnership with the ocean conservation organisation Healthy Seas, which recovers abandoned nets and other waste from the oceans. Thanks to the partnership, more than 78 tonnes of abandoned fishing nets and waste were recovered from the ocean in 2021 and recycled in a circular economy for creating sustainable products. For similar reasons, Hyundai supported DAN Europe on its Sustainable Tour; together, the cooperation aims to build a more sustainable future for all life both underwater and on land. So far, more than 75 per cent of Hyundai’s European line-up is available in an electrified version, and beyond 2025, electrification is planned to reach 100 per cent.
Looking back on the DAN Europe Sustainable Tour 2021
The mission of the DAN Europe Sustainable Tour 2021 was to promote sustainable lifestyles and corporate responsibility to improve the health of the oceans. Across the journey, the DAN Europe ambassadors met with institutions, policymakers, sustainable corporations, and the diving community to address threats to the ocean, including rising carbon dioxide levels, plastic and chemical pollution, and the loss of biodiversity loss.
The Sustainable Tour started on 8 June, World Oceans Day. To celebrate the special day, DAN Europe employees cleaned up a beach near their headquarters in Roseto degli Abruzzi, Italy. Over nearly six months, the ambassadors travelled through 17 European countries, which include Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, and Slovenia.
While journeying across Europe, Alvarez and Bustelo met with a range of stakeholders, including CEOs and founders of numerous companies, NGOs, and start-ups working with sustainable products. The DAN Europe team had meetings to engage in two-way conversations and challenge the stakeholders’ ideas of sustainability.
Businesses have been more open than we could have ever expected. We have seen a great willingness from many industries to participate in this global change. Some are already taking action, showing us that a brighter future is possible. And the most important thing was seeing how young many of the CEOs or founders of these companies or start-ups were. We’re talking about boys and girls who are working really hard to change the future of our planet.
Alana AlvarezDAN Europe ambassador
In addition to these stakeholder meetings, the ambassadors tried to engage with as many people as possible. Alvarez and Bustelo spoke to marine biologists about large marine animals and deep-sea mining, a major threat to underwater ecosystems. They also held seminars on the important role divers play in safeguarding the health of the ocean. The DAN Europe team even went to the streets to ask the public their thoughts on plastic waste.
Alvarez and Bustelo completed the DAN Europe Sustainable Tour 2021 at the end of November in Bologna, Italy. The closing event was held at Y-40® The Deep Joy, the world’s deepest pool with thermal water.
Traversing Europe in a KONA Electric
To support the two ambassadors on their trans-European Sustainable Tour, Hyundai Motor Europe provided DAN Europe with a KONA Electric. This subcompact SUV, which surpassed 100,000 units sold in Europe in September, is equipped with a fully-electric powertrain, so they could traverse the country with zero local emissions. The DAN Europe team drove the 64-kWh battery version of the KONA Electric, which boasts a driving range of 484 kilometres, according to WLTP.
Looking at the KONA Electric and the rest of its electrified line-up, Hyundai continues to remain true to itself. This sustainable shift isn’t just outward-facing to meet customer desires; this transformation is also internal, reflected in the company’s culture and DNA. Furthermore, the KONA Electric boasts an appealing design inspired by the original KONA while still highlighting its electric powertrain, making its exterior design an easy selling point.
Manuel Bustelo,DAN Europe ambassador.
During their journey across Europe, the DAN Europe team learned about local attitudes towards EVs and dispelled misinformation about them. Compared to other parts of Europe, the citizens of Scandinavian countries, where electric vehicles are more common, were more interested in their cross-European journey in an EV. However, Europeans across the continent expressed curiosity when learning about the Sustainable Tour and EVs.
From charging point to charging point
The DAN Europe ambassadors were also impressed by the expansiveness of Europe’s leading high-power charging network, IONITY. Its charging stations are well distributed across Europe, and more stations are being added regularly. To their surprise, by the time they had returned to Italy after six months at the end of the Sustainable Tour, eight new charging points had been installed.
Furthermore, the ambassadors were facing a change in human’s behaviour: Charging an electric vehicle pushes drivers to rethink the way humans move with a vehicle. Instead of always being on the go, drivers need to stop and wait for their EV to charge. During this time, drivers can buy a refreshment, make a call, or meditate. By going on a walk, stretching their legs, and moving their bodies, drivers become more alert, increasing the chance of safer driving.